People who lived in previous centuries who had trouble seeing street signs, reading small print, or suddenly had horrible eye pain, would have visited an oculist. This was a doctor who dealt with eye disorders.

The root word, oculus, is Latin for “eye.” Oculist is actually a rather out-dated and old-fashioned term. Now, the more popular names for these kinds of doctors are ophthalmologist and optometrist. Ophthalmologists deal with more serious problems and diseases. Optometrists address less serious issues, perform vision tests, and prescribe corrective lenses.

Definitions of oculist
  1. noun

    a person skilled in testing for defects of vision in order to prescribe corrective glasses

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    type of:

    specialiser, specialist, specializer

    an expert who is devoted to one occupation or branch of learning

  2. noun

    a medical doctor specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the eye

    eye doctor, ophthalmologist
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    Hermann Snellen

    Dutch ophthalmologist who introduced the Snellen chart to study visual acuity (1834-1908)
    type of:

    medical specialist, specialist

    practices one branch of medicine

Word Family